Violet Oon's aunty Nanny's traditional Peranakan banana leaf wrapped glutinous rice flour dumplings with gula Melaka coconut filling recipe.
Makes 36 balls
Prep time 2 hours
Cook time 40 minutes
400g young coconut, grated without brown skin
250g gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar), shaved thinly
80 ml water
½ tsp fine salt
5 pandan leaves, washed and tied into a knot
1 tbsp tapioca flour dissolved in 2 tbsp water
- Steam the grated coconut in a deep platter for 20 minutes over high heat to prevent the filling from getting sour.
- Melt the gula Melaka with the water over medium heat and strain into a large saucepan.
- Add in salt, pandan leaves and grated coconut and stir fry over medium heat for approximately 8 minutes until the coconut is well coated and the mixture turns chocolate brown.
- Sprinkle the tapioca flour mixture and stir well for 5 to 6 minutes until the colour changes from white to brown, indicating that the tapioca is cooked. Turn off heat and cool. The filling can be kept in the freezer or chiller until needed at this point.
350g grated white coconut OR 160ml coconut cream
1 tbsp fine sugar
½ tsp salt
500g glutinous rice flour
2 tbsp tapioca flour
3 tbsp pandan-infused oil (made by stirring 3 knotted pandan leaves in 100ml oil over low heat for 2 to3 minutes)
- Squeeze the grated coconut, a handful at a time in a fabric coffee bag or in muslin, until completely dry (this will yield about 160ml of the 1st milk).
- Mix water with coconut pulp and squeeze to make approximately 300ml of 2nd milk. Mix in the sugar and salt.
- Mix glutinous rice flour and tapioca flour into the thick coconut milk and knead well.
- Pour in the 1st coconut milk and mix to a crumbly texture. Add the 2nd milk and knead well to form a pliable dough.
- For the alternative method – if using Coconut cream, replace 160ml of the coconut cream for the 1st milk and replace 300ml of water as the 2nd milk.
- Use 50g of the flour mixture to press into a thin circle, and boil it in 1 litre of water. When the dough floats to the surface scoop it out and mix with the remaining uncooked dough and knead well to mix thoroughly.
- Add pandan-infused oil and knead well to form an oily, pliable dough.
- Cover dough with cling film and leave for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours at room temperature.
28 young banana leaves, 15cm x 20cm each.
28 pandan leaves, 2cm² each, oiled
- Clean banana leaves with a damp cloth, and blanch in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Remove from water and wipe dry.
making the dumplings
- Take 30g of dough and form in a ball. Make a hole in the centre by pressing in one thumb and turning the dough around the thumb until you get a thin skin.
- Put 1 ball of filing into the centre and pinch the edges together to enclose totally. Roll into a ball. Keep aside on a tray lined with an oiled banana leaf or lined with an oiled plastic bag.
- Lightly oil the non-shiny underside of a banana leaf and curl into a cone. With the shiny side outside, fold to form a cone.
- Put the glutinous rice dumpling into the cone and press well to fill the pointed part of the cone.
- Top the dumpling with an oiled pandan leaf.
- With the excess banana leaf, fold over 2 sides to enclose the dumpling and then fold the other 2 sides to enclose the dumpling totally.
- Tuck the ends in to secure the bundle. If the banana leaves are too hard, use a toothpick to secure the parcel.
- Steam dumplings for 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat till cooked. Remove and cool.
- Serve dumplings at room temperature either directly in the banana leaves packets or unwrapped.